SCCM Research Grants

For information on making a donation to SCCM’s fund for Resource-Limited Areas, please visit the SCCM donation page.

The application portal​ for the SCCM Research Grants is now open. Grant applications are due June 1, 2018.

 
                         
 
The Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) offers several opportunities for critical care professionals seeking funding for activities that aim to improve care. The SCCM funding opportunities are as follows:
  • SCCM-Weil Research Grant: Two SCCM-Weil Research Grants of $50,000 each are awarded annually to SCCM members for research to be carried out in basic, translational, or clinical research.
  • Discovery Research Grant: Discovery Research Grants totaling $100,000 will be awarded annually to SCCM members as new pilot grants under the auspices of the SCCM-Weil Research Trust.
SCCM seeks to sponsor research efforts that will ultimately improve patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU) and after ICU discharge. Investigator-initiated research should help advance and improve our understanding of critical illness and patient care.
Interest is broad. Applications are encouraged that focus on expanding our basic knowledge of critical illness, clinical interventions to improve patient outcomes, and technical aspects such as electronic surveillance systems, as well as studies exploring cultural and educational factors among ICU staff that either impede or facilitate a climate promoting best practices and error reduction. Priority will be given to projects that have broad relevance and/or community engagement. For example, single-center projects should specifically address the potential to generalize their findings to other critical care settings. Only one application may be submitted by each investigator. Incomplete applications will not be processed.
 

 Eligibility

 

The principal investigator must be a current SCCM member and must maintain SCCM membership throughout the life of the grant. Applications are encouraged from both junior and established investigators. Junior investigators (defined as those having no prior independent National Institutes of Health [NIH] funding of R01 or equivalent within 10 years of finishing their training) may request independent support or may include a research mentor who is also an SCCM member and can demonstrate strong research credentials in the areas of clinical and outcomes research.

To avoid any implication of conflict of interest, no member of a grant Review Committee may submit a grant application. SCCM policy states that committee members who are mentioned in an application as an applicant’s mentor, have written a letter of support, or work in the same institution as the applicant must excuse themselves from the deliberations.

Special eligibility criteria for Discovery grant: Discovery Grant proposals that have a timeline for completion within 12 months will be prioritized. The Discovery grant proposal should include collaboration between at least two institutions (multi-institutional studies). The Discovery grant proposal requires submission of a plan of engagement of junior investigator (if applicable) and future plan for extramural funding for the study as part of the proposal.

 

 Application Requirements

 

The principal investigator must be a current SCCM member and must maintain SCCM membership throughout the life of the grant. Applications are encouraged from both junior and established investigators. Junior investigators (defined as those having no prior independent National Institutes of Health [NIH] funding of R01 or equivalent within 10 years of finishing their training) may request independent support or may include a research mentor who is also an SCCM member and can demonstrate strong research credentials in the areas of clinical and outcomes research.

The application must be completed by the applicant, not by the mentor. The applicant must provide the following information. When completing your application, please note the character limits shown on the application.
 
Background Information:
  • Applicant’s title and institution (include current institution and institution where proposed research will take place)
  • Title of the proposed research
  • Current research (project title, source, years, and amount funded)
  • Other funding that has been secured or applied for to support this research activity 
  • Abstract (brief description)
  • Whether applicant is an established or junior investigator (junior investigators are defined as those having no prior independent NIH funding of R01 or equivalent within 10 years of finishing their training). If applicant is an established investigator, to be eligible for a Discovery grant, include plan of engagement of junior investigator in the study.
  • Administrative official to be notified if award is made (official’s title, address, and phone number)
  • Attestation that none of the investigators has any conflict of interest to this application
Completed application must include these documents:

1. Study purpose and specific aims (not to exceed 6 pages)
  • Background and significance
  • Preliminary data, if any
  • Research design/methods, to include:
    • Design
    • Setting
    • Sample (size, size justification, and inclusion/exclusion criteria)
    • Methods to achieve each specific aim
    • Evaluation plan
  • Institutional review board (IRB) status
2. Curriculum vitae/biographical sketch (not to exceed 3 pages), to include:
  • Education and training
  • Research experience
  • Publications written by both applicant and mentor that are relevant to the proposed research
  • Personal statement (why your experience and qualifications make you well-suited to your role in the proposed research)
  • Positions and honors
  • Selected peer-reviewed publications relevant to the proposed research (published or in press only, no more than 15 publications)

Plan of engagement: To be eligible for a Discovery grant, submit a plan of engagement of junior investigator in the proposed research (completion required by senior investigators only) (limit 250 words) Plan of engagement: To be eligible for a Discovery grant, submit a plan of engagement of junior investigator in the proposed research (completion required by senior investigators only) (limit 250 words)

4. Future plan for extramural funding: To be eligible for a Discovery grant, submit a future plan for extramural funding for the proposed research (limit 250 words) Future plan for extramural funding: To be eligible for a Discovery grant, submit a future plan for extramural funding for the proposed research (limit 250 words)
 
5. Justified budget: Based on the grant for which you are applying, submit a justified budget to include involvement of personnel and their associated efforts, if personnel costs are included; the grant Review Committee will consider up to 10% indirect costs. Justified budget: Based on the grant for which you are applying, submit a justified budget to include involvement of personnel and their associated efforts, if personnel costs are included; the grant Review Committee will consider up to 10% indirect costs.
 
6. Bibliography (not to exceed 75 sources).
 
7. Overview of modifications: If you are resubmitting a previous grant application, submit a one-page overview of the recommended modifications made to the original grant proposal.
 
ADDITIONAL ATTACHMENTS:
1. Publications list (optional): Submit a list of up to 5 publications from either applicant’s or mentor’s previous work.
2. IRB letter, if applicable
3. For junior investigators (required if you are applying as a junior researcher who is including an SCCM member as research mentor, but optional if you are submitting as a junior independent researcher): For junior investigators (required if you are applying as a junior researcher who is including an SCCM member as research mentor, but optional if you are submitting as a junior independent researcher):
  • Letter from mentor indicating that the mentor is prepared to provide adequate time to personally train you in the methods of scientific research (if applicable), that the mentor has prior experience with research fellows, and that the mentor has subsequent achievements as an independent investigator (if possible)
  • Statement from department/division head indicating that sufficient time to perform the proposed work will be protected from other clinical or administrative responsibilities
  • Two to four letters of recommendation from current or prior mentors, research advisors, or clinical professors
 
Resubmission of Previously Submitted Grant Applications
Any grant proposal that was previously submitted for any SCCM grant and not selected may be resubmitted twice, with indication given that the proposal is a resubmission. Proposals may be submitted a total of three times. A one-page overview of the recommended modifications made to the original proposal must precede the body of the proposal. This one-page overview does not count as part of the body of the proposal.
 

 Selection and Scoring

 
Applications will be reviewed and scored by the SCCM Review Committee. Each application will be assigned to a group of reviewers. Proposals will be scored based on scientific merit and the potential to positively impact patient care in the ICU. No special consideration will be given to applicants based on faculty rank or research experience; however, demonstration of an appropriate research environment and strong mentorship is essential for the less-experienced applicant. Applications that do not follow the administrative rules will be returned to the applicant without committee review.

Research Grant Scoring
1. Significance Does the application describe a project that serves the mission of SCCM and the critical care community? Does it have broad relevance that will ultimately improve patient care in the ICU and/or after an ICU stay?
​2. Investigator(s) ​Are the investigators, mentor, and team experienced enough to be successful? Are the necessary talents available to complete the work as proposed
​3. Innovation ​Does the project represent original and unique research and use innovative techniques or approaches?
​4. Approach and Feasibility Is the hypothesis clearly stated? Can the project be completed within the proposed time frame? Is it clearly written and well organized?
​5. Environment Is there evidence of departmental/institutional support? Will the work be done within a scientific environment that will contribute to the probability of success? Are available equipment and other physical resources adequate for the project?
 
The grants are scored on a scale of 1 to 9, with 1 being exceptional and 9 being poor.

After the review and scoring process is completed, the Review Committee will select the recipients. Final grant recipients are selected by the SCCM Secondary Review Committee. Grant recipients must be approved by SCCM’s Executive Council. Grant recipients are expected to provide a summary of research progress and a financial report after the award is funded, similar to that required by NIH, as well as an update two years after the award is funded. Grant recipients will also be required to submit a poster abstract within three years of the grant receipt for blind review for presentation at SCCM’s annual Congress. A second copy of the abstract must be submitted to the Review Committees via the SCCM Executive Office.

SCCM policy states that companies are not permitted to select or influence the award process or selection of recipients. SCCM will appoint independent committees to select grant recipients based on peer review of proposals.

 

 Research Priority Areas

 
Each application should fit into one of the following key research priority areas:

General Principles:
Developing and applying rigorous methodology to basic, clinical, health services and translational research experimental design and to the evaluation of evidence. Developing better models of critical illness and incorporating novel approaches in bench research to account for variations in patients, care strategies, and therapeutic interventions. Integrating new areas of research, scientific disciplines, and technology into the study of critical illness.

Basic Science/Cellular Research: Investigating the role of the host response in initiation, transition, and resolution of critical illnesses. Defining the normal microbiome and investigating its role and transitions in critical illnesses. Integrating research in the biology of tissue repair with investigation into mechanisms that underlie critical illnesses.

Translational Research
: Integration of studies of critical care mechanisms and interventions and application of rigorous, standardized methodology to study design. Investigating the reasons for treatment effects and management of disease progression.

Clinical Research: Developing methods for the rapid, early recognition of acute, severe disease in patients at high risk for imminent deterioration. Developing minimally invasive, biocompatible organ support, focusing on therapeutic manipulation of the neuroinflammatory state and exploring new approaches that enhance patient comfort while reducing the need to manipulate consciousness. Identifying the best process and outcome measurements for critical illness research and palliative and end-of-life care.

Health Service and Delivery Research: Identifying variables that affect outcomes and developing meaningful and reproducible performance metrics and improvement processes, including those related to quality improvement and patient safety. Measuring the effectiveness of interventions to measure and treat prevalent and/or distressing patient and family symptoms. Identifying strategies to improve communication and coordination of care delivery and determining which tools, processes, and programs (e.g., checklists and multidisciplinary rounds) most effectively promote knowledge transfer and implementation. Examining factors related to establishing a positive learning environment (e.g., technological advances, minimizing cognitive overload and avoidance of burnout), strategies for preventing errors and facilitating error reporting and assessing the effects on patient outcomes.

Education Research:
Incorporating cognitive psychology, systems engineering, social science, and simulations into critical care education and training. Refining team-based learning, including examining differences between high- and low-performing units and determining in which scenarios team-based learning has the greatest value.

Patients and Families:
Survivorship and Recovery: Investigator-initiated research to help advance and improve our understanding of survivorship from critical illness, as well as support and improve the experiences of survivors and their families. Clinical interventions to improve patient experiences or outcomes, identification of modifiable mechanisms or testing of innovations that promote recovery, or explorations of cultural and educational factors among survivors to facilitate networks and improve support.